Written by Stephanie Siam
In the midst of your continuous struggle to overcome oppression, You are never far from my mind. During my days, I think of You. During my nights, I dream of You.
But I’ve never been good at writing inspirational messages or condolences.
Therefore, the only thing I can say is: I’m sorry.
To the mothers and fathers who only yesterday tucked their little ones into bed, making dua’a that they would see the light of this morning, I’m sorry for your irreparable losses, those of which will never be forgotten or consoled away. Those which make you stand on your roofs and in the streets, unafraid of looming death, as no death could compare in pain as that of losing a child.
To the children, the orphans, who will never again know the warmth of their mothers’ arms and the strength of their fathers’ embraces, I’m sorry I can’t be there to hold and comfort you. I’m sorry I can’t bring you into my own home, to provide you with safety, love, and stability, to erase the fear from your lives and the emptiness from your hearts.
To the injured and sick, I’m sorry I cannot provide you with appropriate health and medical care, with supplies and safe havens to recover. That I can’t deliver border passes to cross into the West Bank or Egypt, to escape the terror and bolster any chance you have for recovery or survival.
To the oppressed and grief-stricken, to the refugees and homeless, I’m sorry for being unable to stop these atrocities on your lives, your land, your homes, your history, your being.
Dearest Palestine, I’m sorry that with each passing day, more of your story, present, past and future, is wiped out of existence by an enemy hell-bent on Your destruction. Though I’ve never seen your markets, felt your grass or touched your magnificent olive trees, I am connected to You. I am Palestine.
Above all, dear Palestine, I respect and look up to you and your people. Those who, for nearly a century, have been weighted down by the constant pressure of apartheid and occupation. Those who, despite their maladies, still play on the beach and in the park. Those who, despite their hardships, observe Ramadan and celebrate Eid as though the explosions overhead were coming from fireworks, not bombs.
Those who, in the face of evil and its ever-presence, cry out, “We will not be defeated! We will never back down!”
May Allah grant you mercy and respite from this onslaught of terror, and may His punishment be fulfilled in a swift and just manner. For Allah is truly the Most Beneficent and Most Judicious of all, and His will is always done. He does not change His mind or alter His promises. For that, dear Palestine, we can be joyful. For that, dear Palestine, we can rejoice. For Allah promises Jannah to those who fight in and die for His cause. For you, my dear brothers and sisters, are the muhajaddin, and may you be duly rewarded for your obedience and suffering. Ameen.
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